Marijuana Revenue in Colorado Hits $1 Billion Annually
In the largescale battle for marijuana legalization, Colorado stands out as flagship state. Sharing a spot with Washington as the first state to legalize marijuana (both in 2012), Colorado had more time than the later arrivals to establish a framework and strengthen the legal industry.
Needless to say, their decision has paid off with record-setting numbers. According to CNBC, annual marijuana tax revenue has exceeded one billion dollars.
With results like these, Colorado continues to stand out as a leader in legal cannabis.
“Two Highest-Grossing Months”
Colorado’s marijuana revenue grew exponentially since it legalized the drug in 2014. Making a decent profit initially took time. With an industry to prepare while fighting off the black market, it should come as no surprise that 2014 to 2017 was a rather slow period.
According to CNBC:
“It took the state roughly three and a half years to reach the $500 million mark in total state revenue from marijuana sales, and just under two years to double the revenue source.”
Needless to say, the industry is certainly taking off. But this is not the only impressive report to come out of Colorado.
The state experienced its “two highest-grossing months” during April and May, 2019. In just those two months, this raised Colorado’s total marijuana sales from six billion dollars to $6.5 billion.
April was the best month for Colorado’s government, generating over $24 million in taxes. To put this in perspective, it took all of 2014 to raise $67.6 million.
A Key Revenue Stream
Colorado’s marijuana revenue is an absolute godsend. It provides a nice tax cushion for savings, while at the same time funding some critical programs.
“Cannabis sales contribute to the state’s general reserve fund, as well as education and health care, including mental health services, and youth drug-prevention programs.”
Colorado’s handing of the increased revenue is commendable. The money earned from cannabis in Colorado is allowing the government to treat drugs as a public health issue, rather than a legal one. Funding mental health services is also an effective way to help individuals before they turn to drugs as a coping mechanism – a reality that many people face.
Ironically, the legalization of one drug could very well reduce the prominence of many other drugs.
As an industry grows, so does the need for staff to run it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Colorado cannabis industry is triggering massive job growth.
When asked about Colorado’s legal cannabis industry, Governor Jared Polis says:
“It’s going very well…It’s creating tens of thousands of jobs, tax revenue for the state, filling up buildings for landlords and reducing crime…Although I like to tell my peer governors in other states ‘It’s not going well, don’t do it.’ There is obviously more advantage to us when we are all a little bit more special, and obviously more and more states are moving in this direction.”
The marijuana industry offers positions at all levels – from basic customer service to highly-advanced jobs with six figure salaries.
Colorado is a shining example of a successful cannabis industry. It is the story of a bleak start that soon snowballed into something astronomical. Now, the government and citizens continue to reap marijuana’s benefits.
Once some of the federal obstacles are gone, WeedAdvisor looks forward to connecting with its counterparts in the U.S.